How filmmaker Kristen Lovell solves the ‘puzzle’ of pre-production

A woman in a black leather boustier and necklaces
Self-portrait of Kristen Lovell.
(Kristen Lovell)

As part of our yearlong series on Sundance filmmakers, The Independents, we asked participants to keep a diary of one day in their working life and submit an accompanying self-portrait. Today’s diary is from Kristen Lovell (“The Stroll”), who describes the satisfaction she gets from entering pre-production on a new project.

Read yesterday’s diary: How filmmaker Raven Jackson performs the ‘ritual’ of showing ‘All Dirt Roads Taste of Salt’

Today has been an exhilarating day in my life as an emerging filmmaker. I woke up with a sense of excitement, knowing that my inbox would be flooded with emails in the aftermath of the release of “The Stroll.” Every morning, it’s heartwarming to see messages filled with love and support for the film. It’s been a fantastic journey, and I’m grateful for the positive feedback and encouragement from our audience.


As I sipped my morning coffee, I couldn’t help but reflect on how far I’ve come in this creative and challenging industry. “The Stroll” was a labor of love, and seeing it resonate with people has been incredibly rewarding. However, I know that the journey doesn’t end here; it’s time to look ahead and explore new horizons.

To commemorate next year’s 40th edition of the Sundance Film Festival, we’re spending 12 months looking at the lives of 7 members of this year’s class.

Aug. 9, 2023

Today, my focus is on new projects. I’m currently engrossed in the pre-production planning for what could be another directorial opportunity. This phase is where the magic begins for me. Researching, brainstorming and contemplating how to approach a story is always a thrilling process. It’s like piecing together a complex puzzle, discovering how various elements will fit together to create a compelling narrative.

One thing that never ceases to amaze me is the joy of uncovering new elements of stories that I was not previously aware of. It’s in these moments that I realize the power of storytelling to connect people, shed light on the unexplored and bring hidden narratives to the forefront.

As I wrap up this day, I feel blessed to be on this creative journey. The world of filmmaking is an adventure, filled with endless possibilities, and I can’t wait to see where these new projects will take me. With a heart full of gratitude and anticipation, I look forward to the future, ready to embark on the next cinematic endeavor.

Until tomorrow,